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Is frugality about saving money or making you feel less guilty?

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In the fascinating article, “The Green Bubble: Why environmentalism keeps imploding,” Nordhaus and Shellenberger cite this provocative study that has close parallels to frugality:

“It’s easy enough to point out the insignificance of planting a garden, buying fewer clothes, or using fluorescent bulbs…But the ecological irrelevance of these practices was beside the point. What downscalers offered was not a better way to reduce emissions, but rather, a way to reduce guilt. In 2007, we asked environmentalists in focus groups about green consumption. None thought that consuming green would do much of anything to address a huge challenge like global warming. They did it anyway, they said, because it made them feel better.”

What is the point of saving money on obsessing about small expenses like lattes? Is it to truly save money, or is it to reduce guilt?

I’m curious to hear what you think, although iwillteachyoutoberich readers are self-selected against small frugality.

I’ve always believed that you can’t out-frugal your way to rich. And it’s not just about the math ($3/day doesn’t really add up to that much). More importantly, it’s about the psychology of big wins: Most of us are never going to completely stop spending money on the things we love — especially daily things like our morning coffee — so exhortations to “just stop buying those lattes” are invariably meaningless. Plus, there’s the Paradox of Choice: The more things we worry about, the less we do of anything at all.

And then there’s guilt.

If there is one thing I hate, it’s behavioral change based on guilt. Yes, guilt can cause you to change your eating habits or spending, but the attitudinal and behavioral change is usually short-lived and ineffective.

In Guilt and Our Choices, I wrote:

In college, I never understood the jackasses who would say they had “tons of work to do” and that they “should work” and would go to the library for 13 hours, where they would chat on AIM, read maybe a total of 25 pages, and come back telling everyone they’d been at the library “all day” (wipe brow). This smacks of stupidity and when I saw this, I thanked god that he made me a tall but frail man, because if I were Mike-Tyson-sized, there would be some trouble for everybody.

I’ve found that guilt is a hugely insidious influence for people, especially people our age. We’re making decisions about classes, careers, money, and life because of guilt in a hugely disproportionate way. How many people do you know that major in econ because they’re guilty about their parents paying $160,000 for them to attend college? Or they go to law school? Or choose some particular job because they “should”?

How much of “saving” money is about guilt? Do we feel guilty about splurging for dessert or buying those jeans…but then do it any way? How many friends do we know who say, “Yeah, I really should save more money…”

Or do we create a conscious spending plan, decide strategically what we love and what we don’t, and spend accordingly?

I’m curious to hear what you think about guilt and spending. What do you do? What do your friends do?

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cheapskate
cheapskate
7 years 2 months ago

I found the environmental quote very interesting. It seems Rush is right. As for the money, $3/day isn’t much… per day. Over the course of a year it’s eleven hundred dollars, give or take. I don’t know about you, but to me that’s more than pocket change. I don’t understand why people would feel guilty about spending money. It’s yours, you (hopefully) earned it – do whatever you want with it. Just be aware that you can only spend it once. A year’s worth of lattes or that new MacBook.

Todd Helmkamp
7 years 2 months ago

Cheapskate raises a good point about how small changes can add up to big results. However, I also agree with Ramit that those small changes don’t make sense unless you make them consciously, with a goal. Changing things because of guilt is silly.

Lucia
7 years 2 months ago

I often feel “buyers remorse” when I spend money I know I shouldn’t be spending. In the moment, I really want it, but afterward I feel the guilt. Its not necessarily when it comes to $3 lattes, but more so when its on the $50 jeans I bought, knowing I already have 5 good pairs at home.
I think the key is being aware of your spending and conscious of it everyday. I check my bank accounts daily to keep myself in check. When I see the numbers, I’m less likely to want to spend.

Ryan
7 years 2 months ago

Two things in life are certain: Until the end of time, Ramit will keep valuing big wins over frugality, and commenters will keep missing the point and point out that not buying a 3 dollar latte adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars if you wait 80 years.

liv
liv
7 years 2 months ago

I go through buyer’s remorse sometimes, but I don’t really feel guilty about most things I buy. I try my best to be frugal with my purchases, but if I know I have the money to pay for it, then I don’t really feel that guilty at all.

Dr. Liz
Dr. Liz
7 years 2 months ago
We drive a Prius, recycle, and do everything else green that we can think of. It’s not about guilt, it’s about empowerment. Problems like global warming are so huge, they can cause us to despair, give up, or adopt a selfish, ‘who cares, I’ll just do whatever I want attitude,’ which if done by everyone, makes things even worse. It’s because so much is not under your control that you need to “just do a little.” It’s different with managing your money. There you have a great deal of control, and it makes sense to go for the big wins.… Read more »
JimE
JimE
7 years 2 months ago
I would say in general I never feel guilt about the cost of things, but I will fill guilt about the purchase itself. For instance I am more likely to feel guilty about the unhealthyness of an Ultimate cheeseburger at Jack in the Box, but I really am not impacted by it’s monetary cost. That being said food and travel are probably my guilty pleasures but I never regret the monetary costs. Even gambling to me is not prevented by guilt. I do have friends and family however that don’t spend money because they “shouldn’t” and in most cases they… Read more »
Johnny
Johnny
7 years 2 months ago

It’s about savings… Frugality is empowering, good for personal development and the planet.

The truth is $3 a day on lattes does add up, and not in 80 years. In 5-6 years @ 6% appreciation that’s over $8,000. That’s over $10,500 in taxed income.

And we all know it’s more than $3 dollars a day… Saving $10 a day over 10 years at 10% performance = $64,000.

I’m frugal, crucify me… To me retiring at 30 is more important than having a damn coffee every day.

Stephanie PTY
7 years 2 months ago
The thing that most people mess up is not that they unnecessarily spend $3/day on lattes, it’s that they don’t have goals. Or they have wishy-washy dream goals that they haven’t fleshed out or planned for. This is why the stuff Ramit advocates, the “bigs wins” and the like, works. Because if you work out all of your goals and plan for them, you can then do whatever the hell you want with the rest of your money. Lattes for all! Designer jeans! Power to the people! You know, once your Roth IRA is funded and you’re setting aside money… Read more »
Georgie
Georgie
7 years 2 months ago

I get pre-buyer’s remose – I will stand in a store for an hour and debate about whether I should get the new shoes or whatever. However, I NEVER feel guilty afterwards.

I am naturally pretty frugal, though, just because I don’t see the point of a bunch of stuff. The BF has an EXTENSIVE list of things he wants…I am hard pressed to come up with a Christmas list each year because I just don’t see the point.

John
John
7 years 2 months ago

Guilt, is something internal, that can be taken care of internal. It is a reaction, and as such should be cleaned up through psych/meditation/whatever means. Unless you don’t mind it.

That you allow yourself to react to it, and that it causes your to suffer is a bummer, because basically it’s not you thats running things it’s your guilt.

I don’t feel guilt at all when I pollute…

The guilt, instilled in an early age or whatever is the tragedy.

learning the ropes
7 years 2 months ago
I think people above have mentioned everything except one point. In my definition frugality is not saying no to every pleasure in life, but carefully judging what really gives you the pleasure and choosing that instead of spending mindlessly over things you won’t even enjoy. If I had loved that latte I would spend on it. We love food, and our monthly grocery budget will shock even the big spenders. I never for a minute mind spending my money there. However, buying ill-fitting clothes, just because they are on sale. ( Trust me a lot of women do that) This… Read more »
Nicolaï
Nicolaï
7 years 2 months ago

People value spending money on things more than they value time, or even doing things with those items purchased.

Andrew Parkes
7 years 2 months ago

It’s the age old question: what do you SAY you will/won’t spend on vs. what you actually do spend/not spend on. Talking is all about creating and preserving a certain image of ourselves (hard working, frugal, smart, resourceful.) However, if you look at the actual resource stewardship (especially time & $), we are all guilty of not being exactly aligned with our words.
What’s the point of talking frugal if you aren’t actually being frugal?

Shawanda
7 years 2 months ago
I don’t feel guilty when I waste money. I feel angry for being an idiot and unconsciously buying something that doesn’t bring me much gratification. You shouldn’t feel guilty about buying what you a) can afford and b) love. Why buy coffee when it’s provided by the company I work for “free” of charge? Waiting in line at Starbucks is a waste of both my time and money. That time can be spent sipping the complimentary stuff, which is actually quite delicious, while reading the news online. Now that’s fun. After rent, my largest expense is eating/drinking out. I really… Read more »
Eugene Krabs
Eugene Krabs
7 years 2 months ago
An interesting question. I’m not sure that, for me anyway, it has anything to do with guilt. To me, frugality is a process of self-discovery in terms of what matters to you and what does not. For frugality to be meaningful then, we should only focus on spending on what matters to us, and make sure we do not spend on what does not. In that sense, the scale and size isn’t as important, because in another sense, they all matter, and all is examined. And then, if it’s done within the confines of a defined budget, then there will… Read more »
frugalscholar
7 years 2 months ago

Neither of the above choices: I’m frugal because it gives me a sense of contril over my life and because it’s connected to conscious and conscientious living.

Ken Siew
7 years 2 months ago
I spend on what I can afford and love, just as Shawanda wrote. Sometimes though, guilty still crawls in, but I try to convert it into something empowering. Let’s say, I felt guilty about buying an expensive lunch, so I didn’t do it. But instead of feeling guilty the next time I think about buying a costly meal, I take it as saving a few dollars on non-necessities (I don’t need a $15 lunch) and contribute the money towards one of my money goals (investing, vacation, etc) or donate it to the charity. Transforming the negative force to positive energy… Read more »
Anju
Anju
7 years 2 months ago
OK-I believe, this article is totally retarded. First most-did you even consider the possibility that saving cash and feeling less guilty are co-dependent variables? Plus-I noticed that you referenced to “The Green Bubble: Why environmentalism keeps imploding,” article-it’s a generalization to imply that “green consumption” is about “feeling better”-that maybe be true for some BUT it’s definitely NOT applicable to everyone. I also disagree that behavioral changes stemming from guilt are ineffective. That maybe the initial step to a big change-because learning the reasons behind the guilt are the major building blocks of an actual progress. Ramit-your psychology is little… Read more »
grumpy
grumpy
7 years 2 months ago
When you’ve already made the ‘big wins’ (or avoided the big expenses), what’s left other than frugality? The mortgage is paid off, I use a credit card to avoid carrying cash (and to get loyalty points that convert to near-cash gift cards) and it’s paid in full each month (my annual fee has been waived for years), VoIP and a selectively-used pay-as-you-go mobile keeps phone expenses to a few dollars a month, and I check that insurance premiums are realistic before renewing (but good care when you do need to claim is worth paying extra for). You can’t negotiate down… Read more »
Elizabeth Gage
Elizabeth Gage
7 years 2 months ago

A parallel: when I moved back to the US after living & working in Europe for most of the 80’s it seemed suddenly tv ads for food were referring to it as “guilt-free.” What??? One feels guilty about spending, or food, to the same degree you sense you are out of balance and out of control. Money diets don’t work any better than weight-loss diets; it has to be a change to a moderate life.

Kristy @ Master Your Card
7 years 2 months ago
What an interesting concept! I spent a lot of time feeling guilty about what I wanted to study in school because I felt I ought to do something else for my parents. I soon learned I couldn’t live that way, and I think that subconsciously transferred over to my finances because I’ve never made a frugal decision based on guilt. Anything I’ve chosen to spend less on is because that particular moment plays a role in my larger plan. As for my friends, I have those who say they should save more, but they don’t seem to feel guilty when… Read more »
Umang Saini
7 years 2 months ago

For me Frugality = No wastage and optimal usage.
I don’t want to buy anything I would use one or two times a year. I’d much rather borrow /rent such items (books, car etc.)

Overall smaller connection with guilt or saving money.

J. Harper
J. Harper
7 years 2 months ago
Loved the guilt association. For me, it’s that I know for a fact that my resources could be better allocated to help others. Ever done the rich list calculator?!? Total guilt trip right there. So yeah, being frugal does make you feel good, because if you give more than you receive why would you ever feel guilty? Gotta disagree with the frugal not getting you to rich thing though… I grew up poor… actually poor, and now I’m top 5% wealth for my age bracket. That’s only because I worked hard, and often, and spent very little money… although I… Read more »
Kuhle Kitchen
7 years 2 months ago

I have to say that I’ve never really agreed with Ramit’s $3 coffee. If you really want your crappy $3 coffee, then go ahead and get it. But if you take just a moment of your day to put forth half an effort, you can have better quality coffee at a fraction of the price all while saving close to $1000 a year ($3 x 365 – cost of home coffee.)

Is $1000 a year, with an actual gain in quality, not a big win? Really?

Maybe I’m “too” frugal.

Jeff Wong
Jeff Wong
7 years 2 months ago
Guilt about the environment is warranted because we are stealing from the future. Consuming less is about being morally responsible. Being spendy is really about screwing yourself. Guilt is counter-productive. If you let guilt set in, you are ruining your experience of the indulgence. And if you are unable to enjoy the thing given the guilt, then you have made the worst decision since you have parted with your money and not experienced what you paid to experience. The key element is thinking ahead, to find a balance between the present and the future, as well as knowing that you… Read more »
Jules
7 years 2 months ago
First of all, going green is not about guilt or the environment, but about saving money. If you could shave hundreds of dollars by switching every last bulb in your house to CFLs, wouldn’t you? And let’s not get into the cost of heating hot water… But the point of saving on small things like lattes is that it’s something that can be easily done, and it adds up to a significant savings every month. It means $60 a month in your pocket–an extra $60 to put into your savings account, or pay a vet bill so you don’t have… Read more »
Hilary
Hilary
7 years 2 months ago
Guilt, savings, frugality and that darn $3 latte again. I think for some people the small things are a step towards regaining control of their spending and living within their means. Making a conscious choice about spending that $3 on a latte is different than simply just spending because it’s habit. The latte’s are a small step – something obtainable by most people. Trying to explain that making a conscious choice about buying the latte isn’t a simplistic black or white soundbite for financial gurus. There however is a psychology to small wins as well. Dave Ramsey for example is… Read more »
Caron Margarete
7 years 2 months ago
Perhaps I am fortunate in my stark dislike for shopping because it’s developed a really useful skill in my goal to live a location independent lifestyle of working while travelling. For me, it’s not about frugality but addressing what my specific wants and needs are. Every time I am in a situation where I may spend money I ask myself: Do I need it? Need = survival (clothing/ food/ shelter) Do I want it? Want = desirable and acknowledged as a short term pleasure with no long term gain- which often includes food but never clothing (because I have to… Read more »
Jim
Jim
7 years 2 months ago

I think people only feel guilty when they don’t feel in control. If someone has all of their finances in control they won’t feel guilty over big or little purchases.

When someone doesn’t fully understand what’s going on with finances or the environment or their weight/health and they’re confused then (it appears) they’ll be more prone to feeling guilty.

In my unqualified opinion its more about a lack of general understanding or education or control that leads to the guilt.

Nate
Nate
7 years 2 months ago
I may be a contrarian on at least one of these points. I think people feel LESS guilty when they aren’t in control of their finances….at least initially. It’s sort of the ‘ignorance is bliss’ mentality. People who are not in control of their finances generally are not worried or concerned during the actual moment of purchase when the shiny, magic credit card is swiped to pay for a new pair of jeans, video game, expensive dinner, drinks, etc….. It’s only when the credit card statement comes or someone looks at their ATM balance that the guilt comes in because… Read more »
MC
MC
7 years 2 months ago
I would note that those people who stuck themselves in the library actually did not change their behavior. They were guilty, but they didn’t change. It was more just to make themselves feel better – I’ve met too many such people to count. Changing yourself based on guilt isn’t actually that bad, if what you are guilty about is something that actually bothers you. I actually like the example of lattes, not because cutting back on lattes is in itself useful, but the attitude it brings with it – a lot of things we actually spend on is completely useless.… Read more »
dave
dave
7 years 2 months ago

I’ll go green once it makes since financially. The green light bulbs make sense. They pay themselves off in a year or so.

Hybrids, on the other hand…

J
J
7 years 2 months ago
I can’t stand frugality for the sake of frugality, or it’s die-hard advocates. Stories about darning socks, economizing toilet paper use, saving $10/year on something and so on are so missing the point. What matters most are priorities and values, and these should be central to each person (and by extension, their family). If they desire to lead a frugal existance (or a “green” one, or a “religious” one, or a “localvore” one, or a “buy USA” one, or “Open Source” one, or “attachment parenting”, or “no kids”), then that is their business. Which should largely be kept to them.… Read more »
Chris
7 years 2 months ago

I think the paradox of choice is what defines me living frugally. Simplicity in life with less to worry about. I have been debt free since 2001, including my student loans. I worry less about things, enjoy experimenting with business that I probably couldn’t do if I had a lot of debt to live with, and don’t have clutter all around the house. Simplicity, not saving money or guilt that guides me.

A-ron
7 years 2 months ago
Guilt is short lived. That’s why changing behavior based on guilt is never permanent. I think people believe that saving money is a good thing, but they’re not sure why. Especially us young uns. Old people tell us we need to save for retirement, living below our means so we can enjoy our fortune when we’re 70. That’s why we feel guilty when we don’t save as much as we think we should or spend money on frivolities like lattes, even though we’re not quite sure what we’re saving for. On a deeper level, banks want our money. The more… Read more »
Danny Garant
Danny Garant
7 years 2 months ago
Green, Frugality! Bah! My mottos about those things are : Don’t do it cause it’s green/frugal. I don’t drive over the limits cause it’s green or cost less, but cause it’s less stressful. I don’t buy lattes cause it’s frugal, but cause the taste doesn’t worth the hassle. I don’t buy books cause it’s frugal, but cause it’s a pain when you move a lot. I don’t change incandescent bulbs for eco bulbs cause it’s green, but cause it’s a hassle less cause it last longer. I don’t reduce my buying cause it’s frugal or green, but cause I always… Read more »
Todd
Todd
7 years 2 months ago

For me, it’s all about choices and what you want to spend your money on.

As far as my friends, so many of my 35-40 year old friends still get handouts from their parents. It makes it impossible to take anything they say about frugality or spending habits seriously. One friend just got a new car from her parents for her 40th birthday. WTF? I’d like to see some research on that — How many people still get handouts from Daddy, and then rave about their lavish lifestyle on their Facebook page?

Killah Priest
Killah Priest
7 years 2 months ago

@Ryan

You’re completely right

Two things in life are certain: Until the end of time, Ramit will keep valuing big wins over frugality, and commenters will keep missing the point and point out that not buying a 3 dollar latte adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars if you wait 80 years.

Mike
Mike
7 years 2 months ago
I agree with both Ramit and Trent. For starters, focus on the big wins and start automating your finances. Then you can start focusing on smaller money-saving tips that Trent recommends. I am part-time frugal and part-time “normal” spender. I can go a month being frugal to save money, only to lose my mind and start spending normally again the next month. I think even this up-and-down cycle can be beneficial because every dollar saved is still a dollar saved. It doesn’t matter if you’re only frugal every other month of the year — it’s still better than not watching… Read more »
Susan
7 years 2 months ago
Ramit, Lots of fun questions/points from this post. First, how much do people use guilt to avoid action? With environmental stuff, does recycling one stupid coke can mean that you get to keep driving your SUV one (very comfortable) mile down the road to the coffee shop? With money, does guiltily proclaiming “I’m going to start saving money now!” mean that you can look the other way – just this once, again – and buy a new pair of Nikes that you don’t need? Second, it’s not necessarily an all-out war between big wins and small gains, but more of… Read more »
Marco
Marco
7 years 2 months ago

Guilt-driven change is not “ineffective”: it’s inefficient.
It helps getting you there, although at a higher cost.

Brian
Brian
7 years 2 months ago
Amen Suzan! But Cheapskate’s point is well taken. $1100 is a lot of money to me too! But, what Cheapskate and the other posters crucifying the $3 coffee idea are missing is the Ramit’s point BEHIND the example. What he is saying (in my opinion) is that the $3 latte IS a $1100 macbook OR 7 pairs of designer jeans…he is telling us to make a choice about what matters to YOU, based on what is important to YOU alone. If you love those latte’s, by all means buy them. If you crave that macbook, Buy it now. If you… Read more »
JT
JT
7 years 2 months ago
But if that $3 latte is a thoughtless habitual spending habit, than shouldn’t you consider changing it? Isn’t that what this site recommends, spend thoughtfully on stuff you love, and cut back on what you don’t? I think its a mistake and a little contrary to the philosophy on this site to say “its only $3, its too small an expense to make a meaningful impact so its irrelevant”. If its $3 on something you don’t care about, than don’t spend it. If you do love that morning latte, and it fits within your financial goals, than go for it… Read more »
Kelly
7 years 2 months ago
For me the green movement is about adding value. I love the idea of an electric car because I would never have to stop at the gas station! Unfortunately, a 100k Tesla Roadster is not going to work for me because I want a useful car (not a toy) and 100k seriously compromises my money goals. Things like gardening work for me. I love growing things and the tastes of fresh veggies, plus the automatic watering system makes all the difference. …and veggies make you thin! Green cleaning is another area that I’m on board with. I really dislike the… Read more »
Nate
Nate
7 years 2 months ago
Brian (Post 43) You’re right on my man! Exactly….the coffee thing is JUST AN EXAMPLE. Man, David Bach must be loving this!! What the Latte Factor tells you is that little things add up and people do a lot of ‘unconscious’ spending. Once David Bach pointed that out, people started to say ‘holy crap, &*S, (enter curse word here)…I’m spending A LOT of money on coffee.’ So, boom, in an instant you are suddenly conscious and aware of this spending habit. This is what causes some initial guilt. Once you become conscious of your spending habits and take actionable steps… Read more »
trackback
[…] Sethi wrote this week about frugality.  He cites an article that talks about the greening of our society.  The argument is that things like CFL bulbs or building your own garden don’t really exist to save the world.  They exist because you feel guilty about how you impact the environment.  As such, focusing on feeling less guilty distracts you from the actual goal of saving the planet.  Sethi associates this to the whole frugality movement.  Like a CFL, making your own soap will actually give you the desired outcome, reduced pollution and money saved on soap.  However it isn’t… Read more »
Jagadish K. Guttikonda
Jagadish K. Guttikonda
7 years 2 months ago

I think it is to feel less guilty. You want to be frugal because you want to save money but then you will get that realization only when you feel the Guilt about spending money unnecessarily.

trackback

[…] Is frugality about saving money or making you feel less guilty? The blog I Will Teach You To Be Rich posted a very interesting argument about saving money. I Will Teach You To Be Rich bases their question on a study of environmentalists. The study found that a large number of environmentalists stated that helping the environment made them feel less guilty. I Will Teach You To Be Rich applies this outcome to saving money. Very interesting article, certainly worth the time you will spend reading it. <Read More> […]

zach even - esh
7 years 2 months ago
Ramit – I dig this post brother. I remember a few years ago they were trying to tell people this stuff on BIG shows like Oprah and Dr. Phil. First thing they said was to cut out your daily Latte. I felt it was completely going against the mindset necessary to become rich, so you can truly buy what you want, when you want w/your money. I have found the best way to go is to create businesses to allow you to life on your own terms. Nothing better then getting to that point, and if I bought / did… Read more »
Kristen  Sullivan
7 years 2 months ago

Thanks Ramit – nice post.

For me, the guilt comes into effect when I buy something that’s not aligned with my saving or my living goals but stems from a passing desire.

Practicing frugality is a nice way to keep these desires in check.

Jessie
Jessie
7 years 2 months ago
“…formation of ideas as well as their execution depends upon habit. If we could form a correct idea without a correct habit, then possibly we could carry it out irrespective of habit. But a wish gets definite form only in connection with an idea, and an idea gets shape and consistency only when it has a habit back of it” -Excerpt from John Dewey’s Human Nature & Conduct. Guilt from spending habits only happens when a person is aware that their desire to buy something is not connected to who they would like to be as a person. As Dewey… Read more »
katie
katie
7 years 2 months ago
I pick up change, its just what I do, and I know that $3/day might not seem like a lot, but I’ve been saving my coins and I’m already up to $411 in rolled money. There are a lot of things I can do/buy with that money, but I’m saving up–I want a beach house when I get older, and the only way to do that is with money, so my frugality has never been higher. I can’t guarantee that I will ever have enough money to even dream about a house, but I still can’t bring myself to buy… Read more »
Eugene Krabs
Eugene Krabs
7 years 2 months ago

Katie: Budget. Set aside a percentage, stay within your budget, and spend guilt-free!

David
David
7 years 2 months ago
People who don’t get spending money on coffee must never have been to a really great coffee place. Sure, I could spend several hundred dollars on a decent espresso machine and burr grinder, then a great deal of time learning to pull a shot. Then I could buy beans at the local roaster, grind them, and make my own lattes, toddies, mochas, etc. Or, I could spend the $2.00-$3.50 to have someone make it for me. I also doubt that many people literally buy a $3 coffee every single day. I love coffee from the local shop, but even I… Read more »
Shaun Worldwide
Shaun Worldwide
7 years 2 months ago
Most of my friends are paid on a 1099MISC, are a number of years behind on their Taxes, earn between $100K to $200K per year. They go with out lattes and little luxuries to then blow it all on the engagement ring “upgrade”, the latest large screen plasma or lcd tv. then they do nothing but complain about how their “situation” is the fault of the company that they work for, because their taxes are not withheld at source. Having of course made no extra payments that month!!!! Out of approximately 25 co-workers in similar work to myself, I can… Read more »
Anthony
7 years 2 months ago
I agree with a lot of the comments about finding ways to live with your current life style, however I do feel that there is a small part frugality has to play. I can think of many people who could benefit by being a little “frugal” or maybe a better word would be “analytical” and look at things like their monthly expenses and seeing where costs can be cut. For example do you often rent movies, if so is NetFlix a cost savings. Another example is individuals who have ridiculously fast internet plans, are you really using the speed or… Read more »
Ken
Ken
7 years 1 month ago
Wow…so much misinformation! 1. Little changes DO make an impact. Not buying that $5 latte daily saves upwards of $150/month (7 days a week). $150 a month invested at 10% yields nearly $950,000 in 40 years. Be conservative and half that and you still gain a tremendous amount over time. 2. Being frugal on small things isn’t about getting a physchological boost…it’s about learning and following steps to ensure what you make is more than what you spend. The same habits you learn by limiting latte purchases are the same skills you use to buy a smaller home than you… Read more »
FlyingAfrican
FlyingAfrican
7 years 1 month ago
I disagree. I come from a modest background, and have always been frugal. I’ve never believed in the spend now worry later philosophy. I believe in sustainability in all its forms, be it financial or environmental. Frugality is NOT about ‘guilt’ to me. I’ve always tried to save and be green, not just buy buying ‘green’ products but by turning the lights off, unplugging cellphone chargers, switching my computer off at the wall socket, recycling everything that i can, reusing plastic bags etc. I agree with your premise that change should not be initiated based off guilt but I disagree… Read more »
Willie
Willie
7 years 1 month ago
I have always said, it is not how much you make, it is how much you save that will make you a rich person. I believe in the end, everyone wants to be rich, just like everyone wants to have the perfect body with a nice six pack. The process is as equally simple for both cases becoming rich and having the perfect body. The problem lies that the “prize” always seems unattainable and people will settle for the quick comforts of the quick buys and fattening desserts. The concept of being frugal is a concept of personal control and… Read more »
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[…] frugal and sacrificing their quality of life. JD shifted the topic slightly to discuss a post by Ramit Sethi and how people act frugal out of guilt. While the hosts and Trent don’t agree that they act frugal out of guilt, Trent did say that he […]

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[…] (in which he contends a gentlemanly race to see whose readers can save money the quickest) or his post from June in which he implies that frugality, in practice, is often derived from […]

Sofort Kredit
7 years 1 month ago

I go through buyer’s remorse sometimes, but I don’t really feel guilty about most things I buy. I try my best to be frugal with my purchases, but if I know I have the money to pay for it, then I don’t really feel that guilty at all.

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[…] Is Frugality About Saving Money or Making You Fell Less Guilty? […]

george m.
11 months 9 days ago

I am usually on the frugality side just because i am conscious about my spending, but i often realize that is better to get more money than save more and more from the same amount. both tactics have their uses.

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